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Groups of animals have some really interesting names! Learn about them with Jessi and Squeaks!

Additional Animation by Sarah Gullickson
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Squeaks and I have tons of fun when a group of our friends get together here at the fort, and that got me thinking; we have different names for different groups of people, like a group of kids that all have the same teacher is called a class. And the people who we're related to or who we live with or who take care of each other, like our parents, grandparents, bothers, and sisters, we call them a family.

Well, groups of animals have special names too, and I bet you might have even heard some of them. For example, some groups of animals are called herds. Most of the time, animals that move in herds have hooves. This means that their feet have a tough, hard covering to help protect them. Horse, cattle, and deer all have hooves, and they move in herds.

You might also have heard the word flock. A big group of birds, especially ones that live or travel or eat together, are called flocks. So, if you see a bunch of geese, ducks, or chickens, then you're looking at a flock.

And you also might know that people are the only living things that hang out in schools. Do you know what kinds of animals live in groups called schools? Good job Squeaks! Fish. Big groups of fish are often called schools.

So, you might be wondering where these names come from, and the answer is sometimes names come from words in other languages. For example, the word school comes from a Dutch word that means crowd. So, a school of fish is another way to say a crowd of fish, which makes sense to me.

But, sometimes we give groups of animals a name, because the name describes something about the animal.  For example, some group names tell us where the animal lives. A bee's home is called a hive. So, a group of bees is sometimes called a hive, too. Lots of different animals make their homes in nests. So, we call these animal groups nests. Groups of snakes and rabbits are called nests, and, guess what else Squeaks. You've got it, mice.

That's right Squeaks! A lot of groups of animals have more than one name, like rats. A group of rats is called a colony, pack, swarm, horde, or, my favorite, a mischief.

So, let's play a guessing game. I'll tell you the animal, and you see if you can guess what the group of those animals is called. Don't worry, I'll give you some hints to help you out. Clams and oysters live buried in the bottom of the ocean. These animals don't move around very much. They do all of their living in one spot covered up with a blanket of sand. So, do you think a group of oysters or clams is called a bed, an army, or a flock? If you guessed bed, you're right! Oysters and clams don't really sleep, but since they're usually buried in a cozy patch of ground, groups of oysters and clams are called beds.

OK, let's try another. How about prairie dogs? These little animals and their families live in burrows, which are long, underground tunnels which they use like streets to travel back and forth. So, do you think a group of prairie dogs and where they live is called a herd, a town, or a troop? Town is correct! Just like you and I use streets to get around in our city or town, the prairie dogs use burrows to get around in their town.

OK, let's try one more, the lion. Now, the name of a group of lions doesn't tell us about where it lives, but it tells us something about how people think about the animal or what they remind them of. Here's a hint, sometimes people call this animal the king of the beasts. Doesn't he look proud of himself? So do you think a group of lions is called a bed, a swarm, or a pride? If you guessed pride, you're right! A long time ago, people thought lions looked like they were very proud of themselves. So, today we call a group of lions a pride.

And these are only a few of the really cool animal groups out there. So, ask a grownup to help you look up the name of your favorite animal's group, and let us know what you learned. Thanks for joining us on SciShow Kids. Do you have a question for us? Just get a grownup and ask us in the comments below, or send us an email to, and we'll see you next time here at the fort.